[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

.desktop files of GNOME apps and path to these applications


The .desktop file distributed with the evince package
(/usr/share/applications/evince.desktop) contains:

  Exec=evince %U

meaning that the user's $PATH is taken into account. In general,
taking $PATH into account is recommended, but IMHO, this should
not be the case here, because of the following points (related
to each other):

1. This .desktop file is a file associated with /usr/bin/evince
   (distributed in the same package...).

2. Taking the user's $PATH into account may have unexpected effects,
   such as running a different version of evince which may accept a
   different set of MIME types, or worse, running an evince program
   that has a completely different behavior: the user (who may be
   different from the administrator of the machine and may not know
   GNOME's evince) may have written a program called "evince" (FYI,
   this is a French word that means "oust") and installed it in his
   $HOME/bin directory.

3. In config files, $PATH is generally used when one doesn't know
   the location of the program, for flexibility, but this is not
   the case here (see point 1).

Here the choice of specifying an executable relative to $PATH should
only be a choice made by the user himself.

Other packages may be affected by the same problem.

Note that this is a followup to bug 488971:


(With xulrunner-1.9-gnome-support, iceweasel announces e.g. xpdf,
but actually launches evince.)

Vincent Lefèvre <vincent@vinc17.org> - Web: <http://www.vinc17.org/>
100% accessible validated (X)HTML - Blog: <http://www.vinc17.org/blog/>
Work: CR INRIA - computer arithmetic / Arenaire project (LIP, ENS-Lyon)

Reply to: